CA Environmental Goals and Policy Report Lacks Mention of Mineral Resources

Written by Alyssa Burley.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) released its draft of the California’s Climate Future – The Governor’s Environmental Goals and Policy Report (EGPR) for public comment.

The report considers the state’s future in the context of a changing climate and a population that is projected to grow to 50 million residents by middle of this century. The discussion draft provides a vision of the state’s future and a broad overview of the state’s programs and policies to achieve that vision. (OPR)

The report’s vision includes a strong economy, thriving urban areas, prosperous rural regions, a clean environment, clean and efficient energy system, and efficient and sound infrastructure.

According to the report, there are “five cross-cutting goals that are critical for achieving that vision.” The five goals in the report are:

  • Decarbonizing the state’s energy and transportation systems,
  • Conserving and stewarding the state’s natural resources,
  • Building climate resilience into all policies and investments,
  • Supporting sustainable regions and communities,
  • Improving cross-agency coordination and data availability.

Although the listed goals rely on efficient use of natural resources, which support sustainable regions and communities, these goals depend on readily accessible mineral resources. Mining in California boosts the economy by providing well paying jobs. Thriving urban areas require aggregates for concrete and asphalt to support infrastructure improvements and maintenance. However, there is no provision or consideration in the EGPR for conservation of mineral resources for future development to ensure the other vision goals are satisfied.

Looking closely at the second goal, conserving and stewarding of the state’s natural resources, one notices the plan does not consider mineral resource mining. The specific goals only address preservation. The goals are:

  • Work to increase ecosystem services and biodiversity,
  • Ensuring resilience of natural systems to recover from disruption,
  • Promoting the use of “green infrastructure” to lessen environmental impacts of development and to provide protection from natural disturbances,
  • Ensuring the preservation of agricultural lands and working landscapes to support the state’s agriculture and forestry industries in the most sustainable manner,
  • Manage commercial and recreational fish stocks in the face of changing ocean chemistry.

Too often the importance of mineral resources is not considered in planning and visionary documents. The result is the severe mineral resource supply shortages reported throughout the State by the California Department of Conservation1,2. It is important for all Californians to understand that the goals outlined in the Governor’s vision cannot be met without a sustainable supply of mineral resources. To ensure mineral resources are considered, please attend one of the upcoming workshops and voice your opinion or provide written comments.

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research is hosting a series of public workshop throughout the State. Attendees of the workshop may provide written or oral comments. If you are unable to attend the workshop, comments can be submitted to

All workshops are scheduled as follows:

  • San Bernardino County/Inland Empire
    February 19, 2014, 2:30PM – 4:30PM
    San Bernardino Associated Governments
    1170 W. 3rd Street, 2nd Floor
    San Bernardino, CA 92410
  • Los Angeles
    February 20, 2014, 1:30PM – 3:30PM
    Southern California Associated Governments
    818 West 7th Street, #1200
    Los Angeles, CA 90017
  • San Diego
    February 24, 2014, 2:30PM – 4:30PM
    The San Diego Foundation – The Deborah Hoffman Room
    2508 Historic Decatur Rd, Suite 200
    San Diego, CA 92106
  • Bakersfield
    March 4, 2014, Time and Location – TBD
  • Fresno
    March 5, 2014, Time and Location – TBD
  • Merced
    March 4, 2014, Time and Location – TBD
  • Butte County/North Coast
    Date, Time and Location – TBD
  • San Francisco Bay Area
    Date, Time and Location – TBD
  • Sacramento
    Date, Time and Location – TBD
  • Sierra Nevada
    Date, Time and Location – TBD

Review the OPR’s Public Workshop Announcement here.

EnviroMINE encourages those interested in this issue to submit comments and sign up to receive notifications and additional information from the OPR.